By Michel Despland
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Extra info for Kant on history and religion - With a translation of Kant's "On the failure of all attempted philosophical theodicies"
It is this last which is, I think, the most challenging feature of his art for the modern reader. Take, as an example, the handling of historical time in Pendennis. This was Thackeray’s second major novel and, even by Victorian standards, immensely long (twenty-four 32-page monthly numbers, as opposed to the twenty that made up Vanity Fair). It took some twenty-six months in the publishing (November 1848–December 1850), interrupted as it was by the novelist’s life-threatening illness which incapacitated him between September 1849 and January 1850.
It now seems clear from the work of his recent editors that Thackeray was a scrupulous (if oddly ﬁtful and sometimes inscrutable) critic and corrector of his own work on the sentence-to-sentence stylistic level. He did not like infelicities that offended his editorial eye and ear and would go to some pains to eradicate them. At other points it seems to me that Thackeray had a psychological need, connected with his mauvaise honte about being a writer of ﬁction, that drove him to leave unmended pot-holes in his work.
My lord looked at Harry hard, and drank the glass, but clapped it down on the table in a moment, and, with a sort of moan, rose up, and went out of the room. What was the matter? We all knew that some great grief was over him. (p. 123) Quite clearly, from the month and year, this cannot refer to Harry’s long vacation, although it may belong to his ﬁrst Christmas break. Even so the dates do not quite ﬁt, since if he is home for his third long vacation in 1700 he must have gone up in the Autumn of 1697.